The Great Apostle, Paul, wrote these profound words in his masterful treatise we know as the Book of Romans:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. (Romans 3.21-25)
The word “justification” is both biblical and practical. Because it is a biblical word, it not a word that should be ignored or merely glossed-over. It warrants our consideation, contemplation, and understanding. More than just being a biblical word, though, the concept of justification holds a central place in the message the Apostle is proclaiming. It is like the lynch-pin that holds together the various components of salvation.
Author and seminary professor Dustin Benge offers these thoughts to help us consider the doctrine of justification:
The doctrine of justification by faith alone is vital for the church:
1. It is essential for salvation: The Bible teaches that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, apart from any works we may do. Without this doctrine, we would have no assurance of our salvation.
2. It guards against legalism: Justification by faith alone guards against the idea that we can earn our salvation through good works or religious rituals. This protects us from the dangers of legalism, which can lead to self-righteousness and pride.
3. It upholds the sufficiency of Christ: By emphasizing that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, justification by faith alone upholds the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. It teaches that we cannot add anything to what Christ has already accomplished for us.
4. It promotes unity in the church: The doctrine of justification by faith alone promotes unity in the church, as it is a shared understanding of the gospel that transcends cultural and denominational differences.
5. It encourages evangelism: The doctrine of justification by faith alone provides a clear message of salvation to share with others. It encourages us to share the gospel with confidence, knowing that salvation is based on faith in Christ alone.
Overall, the doctrine of justification by faith alone is vital for the church because it is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ.